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Surfing the World Wide Web, a weekly article

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Surfing the World Wide Waves (WWW)

Earth Station Five

For all those of you music lovers out there with broadband access to the World Wide Web and the Internet I found a software which may be of interest to you. Earth Station 5 is a peer to peer file sharing program which allows you to share files with people around the world without all the Spyware software.

Over the past few days I have been running a few test downloads of movies and MP3 files to establish whether file sharing is ready and of interest to the public. If you've got ADSL then you know that downloading files is very fast compared to the slow dial up modems of two years ago. In the meantime what you'll have to contend with is the slow uploading speed that is offered by this technology. It's a permanent connection so you don't really care about the downloading time although the main problem is spending entire days downloading a film and finding that the file is corrupted or that the user from which you're downloading the file decides to turn off his machine leaving you without a complete file download.

On the other hand when talking about MP3 downloading this is quite a powerful tool, limited mainly by what people decide to share on the World Wide Web. If you're interested in all the most up to date music then there's a high probability that you'll find these files quite easily. If you're interested in some of the more classic music such as Pixies then you may find that the files are not there.

What's interesting about the possibility of downloading MP3 is the ability of finding songs which you think you like, listening to them and evaluating whether they are worth buying or whether you'd prefer to spend your music in other places.

Apart from sharing of music there is also the possibility of downloading other file formats, whether film, documents, images etc. If you've created films which you think would be of interest then you will be able to serve those files from your computer to those of interest. I'm interested in distributing the various videos I create and making them available to my friends and one of the ways in which I could do this is through peer to peer file sharing. It may require a bit of time depending on how compressed the files are. Essentialy imagine you're at a protest and you film some of the actions, get some key sound bytes and want to share them with friends. By "sharing" those files you're communicating your message to a larger audience. All you need to do is encourage the people to download Earth Station five and give them the name they should search for. For example"Geneva anti g8 Protests 2003" may be a file name you use to allow people to see your own interpretation of events.

Articles by Richard Azia unless otherwise indicated.


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